Cities of LRNG

Cities of LRNG aims to address the opportunity gap for low-income youth and youth of color in cities by supporting expanded access to out-of-school learning opportunities, using digital badges to recognize and connect the learning that occurs in and out of school, and building connections across local learning ecosystems to open up college and career pathways for disadvantaged young people. 

Open Cities

With support from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Urban Institute explored trends and differences in economic exclusion in cities across high-income countries, as well as strategies that cities have put in place to combat it. 

Boys and Young Men of Color

Boys and young men of color face profound challenges growing up in America. They are more likely than some of their peers to live in concentrated poverty, and they often face educational, economic, and social disadvantages. The Urban Institute has laid out the challenges faced by these boys and young men and has identified policies, system reforms, and programs that could put them on course for successful transition to adulthood.

Housing Assistance Matters Initiative

Decent and affordable housing has far-reaching consequences for people’s health, quality of life, and access to opportunities, but these consequences are not always understood. To inform public debate about assisted housing policy and strengthen policy outcomes, the Housing Assistance Matters Initiative highlights research and analysis about the need for and benefits of well-managed public and assisted housing. Using a multimedia approach, this initiative draws upon research by Urban Institute scholars and others to explore key connections between all forms of rental assistance and outcomes for individuals, families, and communities.

National Resource Network

Across the United States, many cities face growing poverty, high unemployment, poor-performing schools, aging infrastructure, and vacant and blighted properties. These symptoms of economic distress are often accompanied by symptoms of fiscal distress, leaving cities without the tax base or resources to address economic challenges or provide basic services that enhance quality of life.

The Strong Cities, Strong Communities Network uses the expertise, partnerships, and resources of the public and private sectors to help cities tackle their most pressing challenges. The network seeks to develop policy recommendations that can be shared with all communities facing economic challenges.

How Housing Matters

The MacArthur Foundation's How Housing Matters initiative demonstrates that the relationship between research and policy is not unidirectional. The Urban Institute, the MacArthur Foundation, and Stanford University are hosting roundtables in Washington, DC, Chicago, and Palo Alto to discuss the connections between housing policy and the growing concerns around income inequality, the relationship between the housing market and the macroeconomy, and promising business models, technologies, and strategies to support aging in place for older adults. These roundtables will engage researchers from several disciplines, policymakers, practitioners, and foundations.

Pay for Success Initiative

The Urban Institute received funding from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation to help launch the Pay for Success initiative. Under this new program, Urban researchers will help guide, design, and assess pay for success projects across the country. Urban will be an “objective knowledge intermediary,” using the expertise of Urban’s scholars to make sure deals are rooted in the best available research regarding social programs and evaluation.

Cities of LRNG

Cities of LRNG (CoL) is a national effort promoted by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. It aims to transform learning by reducing barriers between in-school activities and out-of-school learning to empower youth to discover their personal and career interests.  This connected learning approach seeks to address some of the issues facing “opportunity youth,” including high dropout rates, summertime learning loss, and labor market disadvantages. By using digital badges to document knowledge and skill attainment, CoL leverages philanthropy, municipal resources, and youth-serving networks to expand access to informal learning opportunities linked with postsecondary education and careers.  Urban is working with civic leaders in cities such as Chicago, Dallas, and Pittsburgh to provide technical assistance and guidance on data sharing and privacy, workforce development, local governance, and public policy.  These efforts will support public entities, employers, and youth-education stakeholders in enhancing the strategic, data, and evaluation infrastructure for CoL.